HOWELL – The New Jersey Junior Titans Girls U14 team, in the program’s third year of women’s youth hockey, capped off a remarkable season by finishing second in the country at USA Hockey’s Tier II U14 Girls National Championships in Buffalo, N.Y.
The girls won five games before coming up short losing to Girls Hockey power Assabet Valley of Massachusetts 5-1.
The Lady Titans were led over the course of the weekend by their dynamic trio of Rebecca Foggia with 19 points, 12 goals and seven assists, Jesse DeVito with 16 points, nine goals and seven assists and Brianna Haviland with 16 points, eight goals and eight assists. They finished as the top three scorers in the national tournament.
The team opened up play with a 10-0 win over the Lady Vipers from Florida. In their second game, the Lady Titans faced a stern test from the Kensington Valley Ravens of Michigan, where they fell behind but came back to pull it out by a final of 6-5. In their final game of the round robin, they faced off against the host Amherst Knights of New York and won 7-0.
The playoff round pitted the Titans against the Connecticut Polar Bears in the quarterfinals. During the tense game, the Titans fell behind 2-1 early in the third on two quick Polar Bear goals, before surging ahead 3-2, until Connecticut struck with just under 90 seconds to play to send the game to overtime. In overtime, DeVito took a pass from Haviland and sped down the left side of the ice and converted sending the Titans to the semifinals against the Pittsburgh Predators This was DeVito’s 4-goal game. Stifling defense and goaltending from Karoline Winzer helped the Titans to a 3-1 win over the Predators and catapulted the Titans into the final where they put up a valiant effort but fell to Assabet Valley 5-1.
The Titans had a fantastic season prior to nationals winning the MAWHA U14 regular season championship, the MAWHA U14 playoff championship, and the Atlantic District Championship.
The team was coached by Matt Kiernan, who was assisted by George Haviland and Pete Haytaian.
Members of the team are Rebecca Foggia, Brianna Haviland, Jesse DeVito, Ally Freeman, Tea Ferrara, Callie Haytaian, Martha Dzieniszewska, Caitlyn Keenan, Claire Caroli, Isabelle Engel, Molly O’Mara and Karoline Winzer.